Garlits, 'Greek' at Hot Rod Reunion 'Cacklefest'
An all-star lineup that includes Top Fuel legends "Big Daddy" Don Garlits and Chris "the Golden Greek" Karamesines has been assembled for this year's "Cacklefest" salute at the 10th Annual California Hot Rod Reunion at Famoso Raceway, in Bakersfield, Calif., Friday through Sunday, Oct. 5-7, 2001. Cacklefest will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Cacklefest is a special feature of Hot Rod Reunion, showcasing legendary cars and drivers of past eras. The cars are push-started, as in the "old days," with many running simultaneously. Nine cars participated in the first such event last year, while more than 25 are expected to take part at this year's reunion. Cacklefest also was part of this year's AutoZone Winternationals, as a kickoff to NHRA's 50th Anniversary season at Pomona Raceway.
Although the cars are not racing, several of them will be making short smoky burnouts for unique photo opportunities.
Garlits will be participating in the "Swamp Rat" entry he first brought to Bakersfield in 1959 while Karamesines will be at the wheel of his 1969 Kent Fuller-built "Chizler."
Other participants include Art Chrisman in his famed "Hustler 1"; Kenny Safford and the Safford, Ratican & Gaide "Sour Sisters" machine; Steve Davis in Bruce Meyer's Greer-Black-Prudhomme Spl.; Larry Dixon Sr. in the "Howard Cam Special"; Jeep Hampshire in Bill Pitts "Magicar" all of whom are veterans of the first two Cacklefests. Pat Foster will drive the Kuhl & Olson Special, which also has participated in both previous Cacklefests, with original driver Carl Olson at the wheel; Olson will be in Europe and unable to participate at CHRR.
Ted Cyr in "The Lincoln" and Al Eshenbaugh in the Steinegger & Eshenbaugh machine will reprise the 2000 CHRR Cacklefest appearances while Dave West, in the beautiful Beebe & Mulligan "Fighting Irish" dragster, will make his second Cacklefest appearance after debuting in Pomona.
In addition to Garlits and Karamesines, those making their Cacklefest debuts are: Norm Weekly, in the "Frantic Four"/Weekly, Rivero, Fox, & Holding entry; Ted Thomas, in Don Trasin's "Jade Grenade," which has been recently restored by CHRR honoree Foster; Neil Leffler, in the Leffler, Loukas & Priesing Fuel Coupe; NHRA Chief Starter Rick Stewart, in the Adams & Stewart entry; Jim Nelson in the cockpit of the famous "Dragmaster Dart; Floyd Lippencott Jr. in the memorable "Freight Train"; Glen Ely in the "Dueller II'; Dwight Salisbury in the "The Addict"; Tommy Larkin in the Weiss & Larkin entry; Earl Floyd in Jack Coonrod's "Northwind"; and Dale Emery in the "Pure Hell" Fuel Altered.
2001 California Hot Rod Reunion Cacklefest participants
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